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12 June 2005, 09:59 am
ALBEAU And HORWOOD 2005 European Champions
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Formula Windsurfing European Championship 2005
Ialisos, Rhodes, Greece

After five spectacular days of racing the Formula Windsurfing European Championships in Ialisos, Rhodes, Greece, ended yesterday. After a close battle with the defending champion, Antoine ALBEAU (FRA) took the men's title. In the women's fleet, Allison SHREEVE (AUS) topped the leaderboard with the highest European, second place Lucy HORWOOD (GBR), claiming the 2005 European title.
The excellent conditions enabled the race committee to run 15 races for both the gold and silver men's fleets and 14 races for the women's fleet. The wind ranged from ten to almost 30 knots so high wind experts got their chances as well as the racers who prefer light winds.

Wojtek BRZOZOWSKI (POL), the 2004 European Champion, took the lead in the regatta after the second day and managed to defend it until the 13th of 15 races. He had a continuous duel with ALBEAU, although at the end the Frenchman seemed to be a little bit more resistant to the pressure. While BRZOZOWSKI discarded the last two results, ALBEAU kept up the pressure, scoring a second and a third to take the honours. Reigning Formula Windsurfing World Champion Micah BUZIANIS (USA) also had an excellent day. He was the best rider yesterday and scored two victories and a second place. With this performance he was able to overtake the British hotshot Ross WILLIAMS and claim third place. For three days the two had been fighting head to head for the final spot on the podium.

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New European Champion,
Lucy HORWOOD
© Event Media
In the women's fleet, SHREEVE managed to defend her lead and won with 12.6 points. The delighted Australian commented, 'I am so happy. I had a great start into the regatta. But in the stronger winds the other girls gave me a hard time. In the lighter wind today I returned to my old strength and was able to ensure the victory.' However, she does not get the European title as she is not a European citizen. HORWOOD claimed that title in second position with 24.4 points. The new European champion said, 'I hoped to catch Allison. But in the light winds Allison presented the better performance. But I am happy to be European Champion now!' In third place, Verena FAUSTER (ITA) on 28,4 points squeezed in ahead of France's Sarah HEBERT on 31.4 points.

By the finish ALBEAU had achieved a clear victory with 17.2 points and won the official class title, Formula Windsurfing European Champion 2005. On the day's racing he said, 'It was a big fight with Wojtek. Today the wind was lighter and I screwed up the first race. But through the whole regatta I sailed very consistent. So I was able to discard this result and caught Wojtek. Rhodes is a good place. I hope to return next year.' In second place followed BRZOZOWSKI with 22.9 points. BUZIANIS took third with 24.8 points. WILLIAMS was fourth with 34.4 points whilst Steve ALLEN (AUS) completed the top five with 37.7 points.

In the Master division, Marco BEGALLI (ITA) won in front of Adri KEET (NED) and Martin ERVIN (EST). In the Youth division, the Frenchman Julien QUENTEL dominated with 120 points in front of Robert BALDYGA (POL) and Leszek RUTKOWSKI (POL).

For next year Ialisos has applied to host the Formula Windsurfing World Championships 2006 in September. The success of the European Championship is a big step forward for that goal. The competitors will now move on to the IFCA European Slalom Championships in Alacati, Turkey.

Matthias Regber (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Champion, ALBEAU:© Event Media
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